On the outskirts of Rome, in the picturesque expanses of the Tiburta Mountains, in the vicinity of the ancient town of Tivoli, is one of the main treasures of Lazio. Villa Adriana, which is the most unique architectural monument of ancient Rome today, attracts attention with its enormous size. According to archaeologists, the summer residence of the ruler of the empire in ancient times occupied an area of at least 300 hectares, on its territory there were about 30 buildings, luxurious gardens and several artificial reservoirs. It was here that solemn celebrations were held with the participation of high-ranking officials, important political decisions were made and the everyday life of the emperors passed through for several centuries.
In 117 AD, Publius Eli Traian Adrian took over the throne of the Roman Empire. He was a great-nephew and successor to Trajan. During the two decades of his reign, Adrian managed to build a large number of colossal structures, many of which have survived to the present day. They say that the emperor himself created the projects of his buildings, but this fact remains covered with a layer of centuries-old dust and we cannot say with certainty about the architectural abilities of the ruler.
For a long time in the territory near the ancient city of Tibur, whose name today sounds like “Tivoli”, were located the luxurious houses of representatives of the Roman nobility. One of these villas that existed in the I century BC. and in the place of which the emperor subsequently built his summer residence, belonged to the great-grandfathers of Vibii Sabina, the wife of Hadrian.
No reliable information about the beginning of the construction of the imperial villa near Tibur was found, but the researchers, studying the ruins of ancient buildings, concluded that the work was carried out in at least three stages: from 118 to 121 years, then from 125 to 128 years and from 134 for 138 years. Adriana did not succeed in enjoying his creation, and the emperor died on July 10, 138.
Over the next two centuries, the emperors of Rome continued to use the villa as a summer residence, maintaining its condition in proper form. However, further on, Hadrian’s villa gradually fell into disrepair. There are suggestions that as early as the 4th century, Emperor Constantine took out many sculptures and decorative elements from its territory to Constantinople, and starting from the 6th century the Tiburtin government residence was constantly invaded by a barbarian.
The first excavations at this site were made in the 16th century. Ancient sculptures, bas-reliefs and other works of art found on the territory of Adriana, moved to museums. Most of them are now stored in the collections of the Vatican Museums.
According to the findings of the researchers, the territory in which Hadrian’s villa was located in ancient times occupied an area of at least 300 hectares. The complex of structures included about 30 buildings of various purposes, as well as recreation areas with artificial ponds and parks.
In addition to the main palace where the imperial apartments were located, the Hospitable courtyard was located on the estate. It was intended for the praetorians – the emperor’s bodyguards, as well as premises for the maintenance of slaves and the barracks of the guards.
In addition, Adrian’s Villa had a Greek and Roman libraries, a large library hall, a philosopher’s hall, an academy, several temples and shrines of pagan gods, and a theater.
One of the most important components of the life of the ancient Romans was a visit to the baths, so not a single luxurious residence, especially imperial, could not do without these structures. On the territory of Villa Adriana, several baths were built at once: Small and Large Baths, as well as saunas with solar heating.
In addition to rooms with hot, warm and cold baths, such facilities include halls for sweating, gymnastics, ball games, and special rooms for massage and relaxation. There was also a sports ground for practicing outdoors and wrestling exercises.
To service such a large villa, a whole system of underground tunnels was equipped. According to this system, slaves could move without disturbing high-ranking persons.
The Villa Adriana can be reached:
– by bus COTRAL, which leaves from the metro station Ponte Mammolo (линия B) on the route Rome-Tivoli.
– From Tiburin station by train, which follows the route Rome-Pescara, you need to go to the station “Tivoli”. The station is located in the historic center of the city, from where you can get to the Villa Adriana by bus.Read More
Italy is an incredibly attractive country. She has united everything that vacationers love so much: mild Mediterranean climate, luxurious coast, ancient architecture, interesting museums and sights, delicious cuisine, good shopping.
Organized tours here are a lot of money, and if you drive yourself without prior preparation, you can get into unpleasant situations. Therefore, it is worth knowing in advance all the nuances of independent travel, so that only great memories remain of it.
If you want to learn how to travel cheap in Italy by yourself, this article is for you! Here you will find tips from seasoned travelers, ideas of routes and lots of other useful information.
Now let’s get into the details.
Where to start a trip to Italy
Independent travel in Italy (when searching for information using non-Russian-language services, the name of the country you need to write is Italy) does not begin with crossing the border, but much earlier – with its planning. Your comfort and positive emotions on the trip depend on how well everything is organized. First of all, we recommend to take up the documents, tickets and transport logistics.
Documents to enter the country
To freely enter the country, you will need a passport with an open Schengen visa. If before the expiration of the passport is less than 3 months, it will not accept. About what documents are required for the Italian Schengen, read on the sites of visa centers.
It is very important:
- For minor children, if they travel with one of their parents, they need a notarized travel permit from the second parent; It is worth grabbing the birth certificate (if the child is not 14 years old).
- You also need to purchase medical insurance (inexpensive and good insurance can be purchased on the Cherehapa website or on instore.travel) and print out the booking confirmation of the hotel or apartment.
For travelers with a dog, a filled international vetpasport, certification in form No. 1 from a state clinic (it is valid for 5 days from the date of issue), and a certificate of form 5a are required.
The animal must be microchipped, and it is the microchip that is required – a transponder, free from fleas and worms, vaccinated against rabies and major diseases (no later than 30 days before crossing the border).
Attention: importing fighting breeds dogs into Italy is prohibited!
Airplane Tickets – How to Buy Profitable
At first glance, nothing complicated: choose a date, city and buy tickets online. But we set a goal to travel cheap, but there are nuances. This is what experienced tourists advise:
- take tickets early in the morning or at night;
- do it a couple of months before departure;
- choose departure and arrival in the middle of the week;
- Do not go in the middle of the high season.
- If all these conditions are met, you will take plane tickets to Italy for the best price.
Cheap flights will find on the site Aviasales. This is a reliable service with a long history, looking for tickets from trusted airlines, does not charge a commission. In general, a good site, use.
There are ways to reduce the cost of an additional flight, but be prepared to sacrifice convenience. For example, flights with transfers always have a much lower cost, and night departures will be cheaper than day flights. You can use a low-cost carrier, but in this case you cannot carry your luggage (you can, if you pay extra) – only hand luggage, and the plane will not be fed.
Subscribe to mailings of different airlines in order not to miss discounts and great promotions. Often they are on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Train tickets – what are the options
If, due to aerophobia or for other reasons, the flight is no longer possible, you can consider the train. True, there is no choice: from Russia to Italy is the only composition, Moscow — Nice. It follows Belarus, the Czech Republic, Austria and stops in the Italian cities of Bolzano, Verona, Milan, Genoa, San Remo, Bordighera and Ventimiglia. It will take almost two days.
The train provides places for the class compartment, NE and suite. Depending on the destination and the comfort of the place, the price of the ticket ranges from 23,000 to 100,000 rubles per person.
How to make an interesting and optimal route
The most important component of success! You usually want to see everything at once, but do not turn your vacation into a race. Practice shows that an average of one large city takes three days. From this and make a start: if you leave for a week, let it be two or three resorts, but you can explore them slowly, enjoying every minute!
From which city to start depends on what is in priority: excursions, a trip along the coast, a visit to Christian shrines or famous Italian boutiques. Here are some of the popular big and small routes:
- Rome – Florence – Venice – Milan – Como;
- Palermo – San Vito Lo Capo – Agrigento – Taormina;
- Naples – Ischia – Capri – Pompeii (Vesuvius);
- San Remo – Genoa – Pisa – Florence;
- Bari – Matera – Alberobello – Grote di Castellana;
- Amalfi – Ravello – Sorrento.
The recipe for the ideal route is simple: rely on your imagination, but do not forget about logic and common sense. Points should be at a small distance from each other, so that the road between them would not have to spend more time and effort than the rest itself.
You can first select one of the most desired city, then explore the map, see what interesting cities are located at a reasonable distance, and plan the whole way.
Top 15 best cities in Italy for tourism
To make your choice easier, we have made a selection of the most favorite cities of Italy by travelers, and all their features, advantages and disadvantages are tabulated.
- There is always something to see, even if you stay for a week or more.
- Expensive housing. The main monuments are surrounded by tourists around the clock.
- The beaches are out of town, but you can easily reach them.
- Among the attractions here are the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Forum, the Trevi Fountain, the Vatican and a great many others.
- A shopaholic paradise, beautiful architecture.
- You need to be vigilant and watch out for bags and wallets.
- There are no beaches here.
- Here you can see the Gothic cathedral in the central square, the fifth largest in the world.
- Cool photos on the background of the falling tower.
- To linger longer than 1-2 days does not make sense. Beaches in the vicinity, can be reached in 30-60 minutes.
- Sights of Pisa: Leaning Tower of Pisa and other colorful buildings, Botanical Garden.
- Crowded romance trips on gondolas, bright carnival.
- An abundance of tourists, sometimes from the channels is an unpleasant smell.
- Beaches on the mainland.
- Sights of Venice: Grand Canal, Piazza San Marco, Doge’s Palace, Bridge of Sighs, Florian (the first cafe in Italy).
- Memoirs of art and architecture of the Renaissance. Expensive, a sea of people, queues to museums.
- There are no beaches here.
- Sights such as the Uffizi Gallery, Palazzo Vecchio, the Boboli Gardens, Ponto Vecchio Bridge, churches and the basilica can be viewed.
- Delicious pastries and pizza, gorgeous scenery.
- We must be careful on the road, the crazy movement of mopeds.
- Beaches are here, Capri and Ischia are also nearby.
- Sights of Naples: Castles, palaces, cathedrals, catacombs; near Vesuvius and Pompeii.
- Cozy and romantic place, city of love.
- This city has no disadvantages.
- The beaches are located near the lakes in the suburbs.
- Sights of Verona: Romeo and Juliet Courtyard, amphitheater, Scaligero Bridge, castles, panoramic platforms.
- Comfortable climate, fabulous views, lots of fun.
- In season, the beaches are crowded, and the entrance to the private is expensive, the city is not always clean.
- There are beaches in this city.
- Sights of Palermo: Capuchin Catacombs, churches, squares and fountains, Palatine Chapel.
- Luxurious landscapes, climate, nature, ancient historical monuments.
- High prices.
- There are beaches in this city.
- Attractions Taormina: Palaces, cathedrals, the Greek Theater, the Gate of Messina, Villa Communal, Odeon and others.
- A wonderful climate, an abundance of beautiful flowers, magnificent panoramas.
- Dear shopping.
- There are beaches here.
- Sights of Sanremo: Casino, Nobel’s Villa, Ariston Theater, the Empress Embankment, the Cathedral of Christ the Savior.
- Very colorful place, wonderful postcard landscapes, National Park.
- In most parts of the territory it is forbidden to move by car. Over three days will be boring.
- There are beaches here, including one nudist.
- Sights of Cinque terre: Love Trail, Neptune Statue, Aurora Tower, Wine Museum and Cellar.
- Authentic architecture, which has no analogues.
- There will be enough day for survey and photos, further it is necessary to think, what to do.
- There are no beaches here.
- Sights: White houses with conical roofs – trulli, arranged in some of them museums, cafes, wine bars.
- Picturesque houses stuck to the rock, suitable for families with children.
- Impressive prices.
- There are beaches.
- Landmarks Positano: Church of Santa Maria Assunta, exhibitions of street artists, the archipelago of Le Galli.
- Unusual architecture in pastel colors, good diving.
- In season, a lot of people are here, high prices.
- There are beaches.
- Attractions Portofino: Church of St. George, Brown Castle, Church of St. Martin.
- Renaissance architecture, magnificent landscapes, the famous lake.
- This city has no disadvantages.
- There are beaches at Lake Como.
- Sights of Como: Palazzo Broletto, cathedral, funicular, Villa Olmo, Tempio Voltiano, Kamerlat fountain.
Now, an independent trip to Italy will certainly be planned easier!Read More
What to see in Rome in 1 day and how to build your own route, what to take from the “Eternal City” to the maximum. Realizing that most of the guidebooks provide a simple set of sights without some connection between them, BlogoItaliano decided to offer a plan for a walk in the center of Rome, which will allow you to see the most important things. And it is best to start the walk with the Vatican.
Helpful tip: When planning a busy day in Rome, set yourself a mobile audio guide in the center for the iPhone with a map that works without the Internet and GPS navigation, which makes it easy to find the way to the nearest attractions, even if you have never been to Rome.
Audio tour includes 62 points on the popular route from the Vatican to the Colosseum. A test version of 5 points is available for free [a full tour costs only € 5], so you can try it out without risking anything. You can try the application on this page.
Morning in the Vatican
The Vatican is not Rome, and not Italy at all. This is a separate state, which will be witnessed by the white-and-yellow flags on the walls. Just warn you – the Vatican is a religious state, you will not be allowed into holy places in short shorts and skirts above your knees. You need to have with you something “nabedrennoe” and long, which can be quickly fastened and then easily removed. Even if you forgot, you can easily buy from local merchants (there are a lot of them in the vicinity of the Vatican).
The Vatican is not just a city in a city, it is a small state inside a big city.
There are many interesting places in the Vatican where you can stay for long. You should definitely look into St. Peter’s Cathedral and stroll through the museums to see the real treasure of the Vatican – the Sistine Chapel.
It is better to come to the discovery in the Vatican, so that there is enough time left and Rome itself, as well as to purchase tickets in advance — via the Internet, so as not to lose precious hours in the queues. Although the visit to St. Peter’s is free, but you will not be allowed to visit museums and the Sistine Chapel without tickets.
When planning a visit to the Vatican, be prepared to lose a total of several hours in queues.
Another way to see the most important thing in the Vatican quickly is to do it as part of a group or individual excursion covering the most important thing. If you have little time in Rome, then an individual tour is preferable, since you can start early, so that there is time left for exploring other sights.
Day in Rome
Time in the Vatican flies by. It is best to see the Papal Republic before noon, otherwise the dream of seeing Rome in 1 day can only be a dream. Therefore, without losing time, we set off.
The first thing to do is to cross the Tiber River on the Ponte Vittorio Emanuele II bridge and continue on the same avenue until you see the monument to the Italian politician Marco Mingetti on Piazza di San Pantaleo on your left hand. Here you need to turn left into the narrow street of Via della Cuccagna, which will lead to the famous Piazza Navona in Rome.
Navona Square is the real incarnation of Baroque with all the sophistication and luxury of this architectural style. There are several palaces of the XVII century, two churches and the Fountain of the Four Rivers.
You need to pay attention to the church of St. Agnes (Sant’Agnese in Agone). It was built in honor, as you might guess, of the holy martyress Agnes at the behest of Pope Innocent X. The head of Agnes herself is kept as the main relic in the temple. Next time you plan to go to Rome on your own, read about this place. A mystical and slightly creepy legend is associated with it.
Opposite the Church of Saint Agnes, one can see the Fountain of the Four Rivers (Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi). This work of art was originally conceived not as an independent object, but as a decoration of the obelisk, which in ancient times was brought from Egypt.
But the author of the project, the great architect named Bernini, in this case “overdid it a little”, since the obelisk itself was lost against the background of the magnificence, richness and variety of the sculptures of the fountain composition itself.
From Piazza Navona, it is not far from yet another Rome landmark, which is worth seeing when planning an independent route around Rome for 1 day – the Pantheon (visit is free).
Pantheon is something unimaginable. A completely unthinkable architectural monument, built in 126 in the time of Emperor Hadrian. It was built as a pagan temple dedicated to all gods. In the era of Christianity, he was consecrated and “altered” in this way under the Christian cathedral. The interior is still well-preserved, not least because the church was never empty and was not abandoned.
You do not need to go far from the pantheon to another famous Roman square – Piazza Colonna. It’s very close. This square received its name from the established Column of Marcus Aurelius. In addition to the column in the square, you can see the 16th-century Palazzo Chigi Palace, which currently houses the residence of the Italian Prime Minister himself.
Of course, you will not be allowed into the residence, but one place in which Schiller, Stendal, Goethe and other legendary personalities often visited will be a good compensation. This is a cafe “Greco”, it is located nearby, at Via dei Condotti, 86.
Via dei Sabini from Piazza Colonna will take you to the Trevi Fountain – another of the most “card-based” places that you should see in Rome yourself. This is not only the most beautiful fountain in the city, but also the largest – almost 26 meters.
The Trevi Fountain is a peculiar component of the facade of the Palazzo Poli. Do I need to explain that a coin must be thrown into the fountain? By the way, on the right side of the fountain near the hat on the ledge there are so-called “love pipes” from which you can drink water.
Moving on in our cheerful attempt to get around Rome in 1 day. Return on Via dei Sabini or on the next Via delle Murate to Via del Corso, which also should not be overlooked.
Via del Corso is one of the most “boutique” and “shop” streets in Rome. True, in spite of the official advertising of really expensive and luxurious boutiques there are not so many – they are dispersed in the neighboring streets, but for more budget shopping Via del Corso is just a storehouse.
Another thing is how you, loaded with packages, will continue to walk, but, in any case, you can accurately estimate the price and remember the place for your next trip to Rome. Actually, the very “concentration” of stores will be just at the intersection with Via dei Sabini.
A leisurely walk through the boutiques of Corso Street will lead you to Venice Square, which should also be included in the route of a walk through Rome for one day.
The square of Venice would be nothing particularly remarkable if not for one big “but” – the majestic Vittoriano. This is a monument erected in honor of the first king of Italy, Victor Emmanuel II, who sat on the throne after the unification of the lands.
You may think that the monument is the central statue, but it is not a statue. All this snow-white construction, which by its size pulls into a small palace – this is the Vittoriano monument. Impressions guaranteed!
After taking a lot of photos, turn onto Via del Plebiscito and move forward. After more than 100 meters, you will see Il-Gesu, the main temple of the Jesuits. Sketches of the facade painted by Michelangelo himself. Building the church began Giacomo Barozzi da Vignoli still with the participation of Michelangelo, and finished Giacomo della Porta without him.
One block from the Il-Gesu Square is the Torre Argentina Square. Here you can admire the remains of what used to be a prestigious area of ancient Rome. Now here, on a fenced site, half-destroyed columns are resting among rare vegetation. If you ever decide to go through Rome in one day, and get here at night, consider yourself lucky – in the moonlight this place looks incredibly mystical!
There is another interesting place that is worth seeing in Rome alone – the Capitoline Hill. It is located immediately behind the monument to Victor Emmanuel II. This is an integral component of the cradle of Rome itself – the legendary Seven Hills – the terrain on which the Eternal City was founded. It was here that in ancient times, according to legend, the wolf found the brothers Rem and Romulus and saved them by feeding them with their milk.
The path to the Capitoline Hill lies along the wide staircase of Cordonata, which is also considered to be a kind of landmark of Rome.
Evening and Night in Rome
Having decided to see Rome on my own in one day, in the evening there will be little strength left. But there are two more places that you should definitely see. Therefore, we will have patience and plan a small stop in one of the catering establishments nearby.
The Roman Forum adjoins the Capitol Hill. Unfortunately, only the picturesque ruins have survived from the very heart of the Roman Empire to this day, but even they make you dumb in silence from the realization of that greatness, power and dazzling beauty, which the Eternal City once embodied.
There are their own attractions in Rome: Black Stone, Golden Mile, Navel of the Earth and others. Visiting Rome on your own, do not miss this place in any case.
Well, from the Forum is not far from the Colosseum. Just walk a little along the wide and spacious Via del Fori Imperiali.
You can see the Roman Forum and the Colosseum in the summer until late, the sights are open until 7 pm. But, as in the case of the Vatican Museums, it also makes sense to buy tickets to the Colosseum (and at the same time to the Forum next door) in advance – via the Internet. The queue here can also last for several hours, and the time is already evening and it will be a pity not to get inside.
By the way, for those who want to have time to see as many interesting places as possible in Rome in one day, without losing anything significant, we recommend having step-by-step routes to the most interesting cities in Italy. With their help, you can see much more and learn a lot of valuable life hacking, which will save a lot of time and money.
Any of the similar excursions in Rome or any other city will cost much more.Read More